Microencapsulated Stem Cells to Promote Wound Healing

Principal Investigator: Gerlinde Van de Walle

Baker Institute for Animal Health
Sponsor: Harry M. Zweig Memorial Fund for Equine Research
Title: Microencapsulated Stem Cells to Promote Wound Healing
Project Amount: $53,140
Project Period: January 2017 to December 2017

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): 

The broad objective of this proposal is to examine the effects of microencapsulated stem cells to promote wound healing. Our group has recently shown that equine mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) can be successfully packaged in microcapsules and these microencapsulated MSC promote wound healing by stimulating dermal fibroblast migration in vitro. Building on these data, we now want to identify the bioactive factors present in the secretome responsible for these effects, and we want to evaluate whether microencapsulated equine MSC can promote wound healing in vivo. For the latter, we will use Cornell-owned research horses that naturally suffer from skin wounds as a result of seasonal allergy, as proof of concept. Since it was recently shown that human MSC reduce atopic eczema, a human skin condition analogous to seasonal allergy in horses, it is plausible that equine MSC will be effective for cutaneous wound management in horses with seasonal allergy. Our specific hypothesis is that microencapsulated equine MSC secrete bioactive factors that promote cutaneous wound healing in vivo, and as such, can be developed into a readily available off-the-shelf product in equine regenerative medicine.